2016 Jack Layton Award for Youth Action in Sustainability
The following four schools have been recognized out of over 100 school action projects to receive the 2016 Learning for a Sustainable Future Jack Layton Award for Youth Action in Sustainability. St. Benedict School was awarded first place, two schools were recognized as Runner-Ups and one schools was given an Honourable Mention. Check out the amazing and innovative projects these schools have done by reading the summaries below. Thank you to everyone who participated. All of your projects were outstanding, and we look forward to seeing your submissions next year!
St. Benedict School
The winning school this year is St. Benedict School from Milton, ON. Their project features a unique and innovative sustainability solution that showcases student creativity and talent. Congratulations!
St. Benedict students noticed that their new school was lacking in natural green areas. They envisioned a school yard with trees, plants, and even an outdoor classroom to allow their classmates to learn outside and connect with nature, fostering a more sustainable school environment. In order to raise funds to achieve this vision, the students came up with the innovative idea of creating a benefit song! After exploring videos on R4R.ca touching on various sustainability themes, students compiled the issues that most resonated with them and wrote the lyrics. They then performed and recorded the song, titled "Save the Earth." The song is available for downlaod by donation on the school's website, and fundraising is still ongoing!
Marysville Elementary School
Grade 2 students at Marysville Elementary in Kimberley, BC were inspired by a children's book called "Compost Stew." They started by collecting and weighing the entire school's compost every day, starting on the first day of school. Their monthly calculations tell them that, after 100 school days, almost 800 pounds of compost were generated ("the weight of a male grizzly bear!" said one teacher). The compost is not only collected, but turned and maintained by the students, and it will be used in Marysville's own garden beds. This project also had an artistic component, as the students created compost "monster" collages out of food scraps and participated in making and playing educational games such as "Compost Bingo."
Brooks Junior High School
Grade 7-9 students at BJHS in Brooks, AB are motivated to reviltalize an unused, overgrown, unattractive courtyard space at their school. Beyond cleaning it up, the students have a big vision for the space including produce and flower beds, a vine wall, a social and learning space with tables and benches, and even a large mural. The large scope and variety of the project allows many different classes to get involved by centering art, construction, and science projects around the courtyard revitilization. The students' efforts have been documented on their website, with many wonderful photos. LSF is proud to be a part of such a large effort, and we can't wait to see the final results!
New Maryland Elementary
The grade 2 class at New Maryland Elementary in New Maryland, NB threw themselves headlong into an aquaponics adventure! Building and maintaining an aquaponics system has allowed the students to explore indoor food production right in their classroom - but that's not all! Students also learned about ecosystems and biodiversity, used their artistic skills to decorate the system, researched different types of fish, made scientific observations about plant growth, and used math to track their data. They even went on field trips to learn more about aquaponics, fish, and our food system. Now they hope to teach the rest of their school all about aquaponics!
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